ASEAN IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY:
TRADE, FDI, ISSUES AND CHALLENGES*
Teofilo C. Daquila**
National University of Singapore
& Korea University
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The ASEAN regional grouping was formed in 1967. Despite the implementation of various regional schemes to promote closer economic integration, ASEAN has moved too slowly. Trends and patterns analysis of ASEAN’s trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) reveals that ASEAN has been more dependent on extra-regional relations particularly with Northeast Asia, United States and the European Union. Intra-regional trade, for example, has hovered around 15-20 percent of ASEAN’s global trade during the past three decades. This paper examines the various issues and challenges facing ASEAN including its continued dependence on its main trading and investment partners, the competitiveness of ASEAN economies vis-à-vis other emerging markets such as China and India, economic and non-economic disturbances, strengthening intra-regional economic integration, regional enlargement and its impact on ASEAN, rising trend towards Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), deeper and wider regionalism either through an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) or an East Asian Economic Community (EAEC).